Let’s learn about Norway!–The waffle hour failure

Once upon a time, a successful Norwegian phone company set up a branch in India.

Back in Norway, this phone company would have something called a “waffle hour” every week. In this waffle hour, people from all levels of the company, from basic workers to the CEO, would meet to eat waffles and socialize. This is typical of Norwegian society because Norwegians are passionate about equality. Norwegian society, although less egalitarian than it used to be, is far more equal than other non-Scandinavian Western countries.

Back in India, the Norwegians running this branch decided that it would be a good idea to carry on the waffle hour tradition since it had worked so well back home.

The Indian waffle hour was a complete failure.

See, while Norwegian society is relatively equal, Indian society is not. The caste system in India is a gate-keeping concept, meaning that it is a key notion that cannot be ignored when interacting with that society. You can’t simply go into India, introduce a waffle hour, and expect Indians to interact with those of different castes, forgetting about a system which defines their society.

Norwegian waffles are delicious, but even they cannot change the caste system in India.

The Indian waffle hour was discontinued for obvious reasons, and the fate of the phone company? To be honest, I don’t quite remember since I was fixating on the idea of eating waffles, but I believe they ended up discontinuing the branch in India.

Lesson to take home: Norwegian waffles are not a fix-all solution.

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